TUESDAY, JANUARY 02, 2007
JU FOOTBALL: Kerwin Bell Press Conference Quotes
Press Conference Photo Gallery 

Jan. 2, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

OPENING STATEMENT

I am thankful for the opportunity to be the head coach at Jacksonville University and I really want to lead both the University and the city of Jacksonville to greater heights.

First thing I want to do while I am here as the head football coach is to lose weight and get in shape. (joke)

I want to thank Ocala Trinity Catholic High School for helping me get here. I believe it was the best high school job in Florida.

Also, Alan Verlander showed a lot of commitment in getting me here and in making the football program at Jacksonville University better. I see the program headed in a new direction.

I am all about winning. While at Ocala Trinity my boys (players) said I was two different people. Outside of football, I am very laid back but between the white lines there is just winning and losing; and I am not about losing. I have always been a winner and always will be a winner.

The main thing that I need from everyone here is to give us a chance. You will see that we are going to put together the kind of program that the city of Jacksonville can be proud of and I challenge you to jump on board. A lot of money needs to be raised and I am going to be calling on the alumni, boosters and the people of Jacksonville to help us so we can get things done.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

What intrigued you most about the job?

The biggest thing that brought me to Jacksonville University was (Director of Athletics) Alan Verlander. He sold me on his ideas and his vision to take this program to the next level.

I was also intrigued by jumping to the next level as a head coach. JU is not a brand new program like I took over at Trinity Catholic High School, but it is a program looking to take the next step and I'm excited about that challenge.

I feel we have the right people on board to be successful and that starts with Alan Verlander and (JU President) Dr. Kerry Romesburg.

What will be your biggest challenge as the head coach at JU?

Patience is going to be the biggest word for me. If anyone knows me from the job I did at Trinity Catholic, I am not a very patient person. I have to be patient with the whole process and change the attitude of the city about what JU really is. That all starts with the product we put on the field. If we put a good product on the field, people will catch on. If people get on board and support us, we will go a long way.

I have been following the QB over there at Trinity Catholic and wanted to know if there is any chance of him coming here to JU?

(laughing) He is probably going to be a Gator at the University of Florida, but from what I have heard, we have a pretty good quarterback here already.

I have been in three different leagues, been around 14 different offensive coordinators and those experiences have really blessed me as a coach and helped make me who I am today. My philosophy comes from former University of Florida head football coach Steve Spurrier, as well as, current USC head football coach Pete Carroll, while I was playing for the Jets.

The University of San Diego has a similar non-scholarship Division 1-AA program and was able to finish with an 11-0 record and had back to back Pioneer Football League championships. Have you done any research or have any plans on how we can bring the same type of success here to Jacksonville University?

I know Jim Harbaugh (the new head football coach at Stanford University) and I have actually been trying to get in touch with him. I will probably see him at the next coaching convention. I will contact him and try to get some of those secrets that worked for him at the University of San Diego.

I noticed that you have a lot of former Gators on your staff and I was wondering if that will continue here at JU?

My current wide receivers coach, Ricky Nattiel, is one of the best receiver coaches on any level, including the pros. I want him to come here. However, he was offered my old job at Trinity Catholic and I recommended him for the job.

I want to let everyone know that this team is going to be built on fundamentals, which is something that I learned from Coach Spurrier. We will work on fundamentals everyday in practice. I am determined to make sure our players know that we are going to win every snap. We will be aggressive on offense, defense, and special teams and we will play to win on every down.

I would love for everyone to come out and jump on board because without great support, we cannot get things done. We need the city's and media's support from the start. I am here to do one thing and that is to make the city of Jacksonville proud of JU football. I want everyone to get on board so we can get things done!